I wrote about the benefits of handwashing here, particularly noting the benefits of handwashing over using hand sanitizer. Hand santizer works when hand washing is not an option, but eventually, hand washing is an option and should be the first choice.
I saw a list of things to do (or not do) to protect yourself from the threat posed by the coronavirus. I don’t remember the whole list, but the first two items were the most important: 1) Wash your hands; and 2) Don’t pick your nose. The author was trying to be funny by pointing out nose-picking in particular, but it is true. As I discussed previously, we tend to touch our faces many times each day. The mucus tissue, like that found in your nose (and your mouth, eyes, etc.), is what makes touching your face dangerous.
I read this article (click here) about a trick to try to touch your face less frequently. A gist of it is that there was a study where signs were posted in bathrooms used by medical professionals regarding hand hygiene. There were two signs used: one said hand hygiene prevents you from becoming ill, and the other said hand hygiene prevents patients from becoming sick.
The medical professionals who were warned of the dangers to others were 11% more likely to practice proper hand hygiene. Police officers and other first responders are very similar to health care professionals in that concern for the well-being of others often overwhelms concern for themselves. Police officers run toward the danger.
So, the trick is to think about helping others – your family, your colleagues, the people you come into contact with on calls for service or giving directions. Wash your hand frequently and don’t pick your nose (or try to avoid touching your face). It will help everyone you come into contact with.